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Fake It Till You Make It!

Posted on September 09 2020

Have you heard of the phrase "Fake it till you make it"? Does this expression evoke positive or negative feelings? I’m making the case for why this is positive and a necessary strategy at times. Plus, I’m opening up intimately about how I “faked it” and why you should too.

Fall  Collection 2019 N. Lalor Photography

According to Wikipedia, "fake it till you make it," is an English expression which suggests that by imitating confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset, a person can realize those qualities in their real life. The phrase was first expressed some time before 1973, but let’s be honest, people have been imitating confidence since the beginning of time. For some this comes naturally and for others it is terrifying. 

In 2015 I envisioned a mobile boutique brand that would eventually launch and grow to be Jolie Gotique. I had never founded a solo business before. I had never owned a boutique before. I had never developed a website, ecommerce site, blog or even social media presence. If I continue with all the elements “I had never” done before this piece would be lengthy. By contrast, there were also many important skills and experiences I did possess. I had a financial background and understood how to manage and balance capital. I had worked in retail and personally had a passion for style, fashion and making women feel good. I was and am a hard worker, dedicated, persistent and confident.

First photo shoot Winter 2016 Photography By Inga

Let’s linger on that last word…CONFIDENT. Some people believe that self-confidence can be built with affirmations and positive thinking. There is truth in this, but it is just as important to build self-confidence by setting and achieving goals. I have a history of just that: setting and achieving goals. While I was very aware of what “I had never” done before, I was also confidently in tune with what I had achieved in the past and believed in my ability to “fake it till you make it.” 

In the Fall of 2015, Jolie Gotique was founded but had not yet launched. There was a difficult mission to accomplish: Convince friends and mainly total strangers that shopping on a mobile fashion boutique is 1. Fun 2. Stylish 3. Exclusive (and this was the hardest of them all). Jolie Gotique from its inception has been branded as a chic, sleek & modern fashion truck booked for private events only. Exclusivity was key.

Have you ever cold called or cold emailed? It’s not an easy task. Selling a product or service pre-launch to a complete stranger requires some level of “faking it.” As passionate as one may be about their sales pitch and the incredible offerings there is no true tangible experience to back it up when a business has not opened its doors.  

After researching local businesses, non-profits, town events, schools, religious institutions and powerhouse women in my community, I had compiled an incredible list of those who might be interested in the concept to book our first ever fashion truck events. The initial responses were across the spectrum. Many laughed at the concept with no desire to mask their thoughts, and others were in awe, interested and got dates on the calendar immediately. Regardless of the initial responses I knew one thing was certain, I would deliver on my promises and turn a “faking it” moment into an incredible reality that would impress even those who laughed…and it did.


Greenwich Magazine June 2020

According to an article written in Forbes: “The Law of Attraction movement is the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into someone’s life. A central concept of the movement is to ‘act as if you already have it.’ This in itself is fine and is not too different from the notion of visualizing your future successes and achievements in an attempt to manifest the behaviors necessary to get you there.”

Fake It Till You Make It = Act As If = Believe In Yourself = Confidence = Success

Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that you be an imposter, lie or make untruthful claims. I’m implying that sometimes we need to fake the end in order to get to the beginning. I’m pointing out that confidence can make or break a professional career, business and journey – yet, we don’t always innately have the required confidence to get a project off the ground. Therefore, by “faking it” through our dress, our smile, our choice of language, our walk, our handshake (hello 2019), or our pitch we can muster and portray the confidence required to be successful. At which point, you no longer need to fake anything because success speaks for itself.

“Just believe in yourself. Even if you don't just pretend that you do and, at some point, you will.” – Venus Williams


Written by Penny Goffman: Founder of fashion & lifestyle brands Jolie Gotique & That Penny Life. She is also a mama to two spunky children and resides in Greenwich, CT with her family. When she’s not busy with her own boutique she can be found hosting or styling fashion shows and lifestyle events for Alice & Olivia, Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales. Penny is also the local community manager for the Westchester/CT region of HeyMama and Chair of the Mamas In Fashion industry group. Plus she always fits in a great workout on her downtime! Above all, she is most passionate about empowering women to feel beautiful & powerful both inside and out. 






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